Information operations · Information Warfare

Fake News, Disinformation and Propaganda – Papers and Media Reports

Anonymous expert compilation, analysis, and reporting

I have a wee bit of heartache about this article, New study identifies three groups who believe fake news.  One bullet slightly expands on the headline and provides a wee bit of insight into the findings: 

  • The results showed that people prone to delusional thinking, religious fundamentalists, and dogmatists tended to believe all news, regardless of plausibility.

The bullet is poorly punctuated, so, let me clearly separate the “three groups” from the headline.

  • people prone to delusional thinking
  • religious fundamentalists
  • dogmatists tended to believe all news, regardless of plausibility.

Thinking back to the 2016 elections, these were all accusations against members of the right or conservatives, in American politics. These invectives were cast by members of the left in any argument where even an innocent question was asked, it was thought to be a disagreement. My gut instinct is to believe the authors were members of the left or liberals. Except for the middle bullet, I have seen clear evidence from both sides of the political aisle, of the first and third bullet.  The media and academia, however, have a clear liberal bent. As a result, I am strongly suspicious when I see an article which I believe has what I see as a clear bias.

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Mostly very recent. Clearly, there is growing concern over the problem.

A Europe that Protects: The EU steps up action against disinformation – To Inform is to Influence

The plan has four key areas: Improved detection Coordinated response Online platforms and industry Raising awareness and empowering citizens The EU is raising its budget for support from €1.9 million in 2018 to €5 million in 2019. Member countries are expected to increase their support commensurately. The entire document is worth a read to see exactly how they are doing things. Additionally, the titles for the four key areas above are a wee bit misleading as additional information is within each bullet which does not exactly align with the titles. Additionally, there are allusions to other coordinated, synchronized, and supplemental actions, not spelled out. This is both frustrating because of a lack of information but also allows some unrestrained growth without overwhelming restrictions. Russia is specifically mentioned as the abuser of information, my words. Others need to follow in the EU’s footsteps, specifically the United States. </end editorial>

Scientific communication in a post-truth society | PNAS

Within the scientific community, much attention has focused on improving communications between scientists, policy makers, and the public. To date, efforts have centered on improving the content, accessibility, and delivery of scientific communications. Here we argue that in the current political and media environment faulty communication is no longer the core of the problem. Distrust in the scientific enterprise and misperceptions of scientific knowledge increasingly stem less from problems of communication and more from the widespread dissemination of misleading and biased information. We describe the profound structural shifts in the media environment that have occurred in recent decades and their connection to public policy decisions and technological changes. We explain how these shifts have enabled unscrupulous actors with ulterior motives increasingly to circulate fake news, misinformation, and disinformation with the help of trolls, bots, and respondent-driven algorithms. We document the high degree of partisan animosity, implicit ideological bias, political polarization, and politically motivated reasoning that now prevail in the public sphere and offer an actual example of how clearly stated scientific conclusions can be systematically perverted in the media through an internet-based campaign of disinformation and misinformation. We suggest that, in addition to attending to the clarity of their communications, scientists must also develop online strategies to counteract campaigns of misinformation and disinformation that will inevitably follow the release of findings threatening to partisans on either end of the political spectrum.

‘Fake news’ could destroy Western society, State Department official warns – AOL News

A high-ranking official has offered a stark warning about the potential of ‘computational warfare’ to destroy the Enlightenment order.

Is Fake News Here to Stay? by Joseph S. Nye – Project Syndicate

Experience from European elections suggests that investigative journalism and alerting the public in advance can help inoculate voters against disinformation campaigns. But the battle with fake news is likely to remain a cat-and-mouse game between its purveyors and the companies whose platforms they exploit.

New study identifies three groups who believe fake news

A new study conducted several surveys showing that religious fundamentalists, dogmatists, and delusional people are more prone to believing fake news.

What is fake news and how can you identify it? – BBC News

Fake news can sometimes very closely mimic real news. Zoe Kleinman looks at how you can spot it.

How ‘fake news’ entered the mainstream – BBC News

Fake news can sometimes very closely mimic real news. Zoe Kleinman looks at how you can spot it.

Foreign Ministry working to combat fake news bots – Israel News – Jerusalem Post

A since-removed twitter account sent the link to journalists shortly after Liberman resigned. The account was named Bina Melamed, but used the photo of a Turkish real estate agent.

Opinion | Decades of Fake News, Courtesy of the Kremlin – The New York Times

Videos about Russia’s disinformation operations inspired one reader to draw a humorous map — “my way of shrinking my fright” — while others expressed their fears in our comments.

Hate speech, fake news, privacy violations — time to rein in social media | TheHill

Social media platforms cannot be left to self-regulate, and intervention must be based on a fundamental right to privacy.

The impact of Russian interference on Germany’s 2017 elections

Editor’s Note: Constanze Stelzenmüller testified before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on the Russian interference on the upcoming German federal elections, discussing how Europeans should deal with Russia’s attempts to influence European polities. Read her full testimony below. Chairman Burr, Vice Chairman Warner, distinguished members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, It is an honor for me to be invited to testify before you here today on the critical issue before this panel: the impact of Russian interference on European elections, and more particularly in my case, on the German federal elections on September 24.

Anatomy of a Russian Media Escalation

The latest escalation in the Sea of Azov provides a case study of how Russia’s vast state disinformation apparatus is employed to muddy the waters and curb Western attempts to halt Russian aggression. What we know: Three Ukrainian ships were fired upon and then captured by Russian vessels as the Ukrainians were preparing to transit through the Kerch Strait in the Sea of Azov on Sunday, November 25. Earlier that day, a Ukrainian tugboat was rammed by a Russian coast guard ship.